by Danielle Leahy photos by Jacque Manaugh
La Hacienda Chichen Itza has long been a Greenville Ave staple although it’s often over shadowed by it’s more award winning neighbor, Tacos Y Mas. For the residents of Greenville Ave, this is a tragedy. Not only does Chichen Itza offers a much better quality taco, but with it’s origins as a family run bakery and restaurant Chichen Itza offers a larger selection of traditional Mexican delights on top of the basic street tacos.
With a separate bakery taking up almost equal space in the building, this eatery makes traditional Mexican pastries and desserts on a daily basis. Even at 8pm they still had a nice selection of pan de dulces and various flavored cookies. The cooler behind the pastry case was full of Mexican sodas, juices, and mineral waters with more than one Bot appreciatively signing over the effervescence of their Topo Chico.
A shelf full of Mexican magazines and Takis Chips were another hit while waiting on the food. In addition to tacos, Chichen Itza serves large tortas, shrimp appetizers and some seafood, and arroz con pappas featuring any other their 4 main meats to choose from: steak, chicken, pastor, or Milanese (thin breaded chicken).
We had the impression that there were actually many other items than what was listed on the menu, but the single guy working the counter and the kitchen explained he was re-doing the lettering, so not everything was up yet.
The tacos also come in those 4 flavors according to the menu (and some more traditional choices such as lengua, behind the counter, for those who ask). Available in either flour or corn tortillas, with a large portion of very fresh tomatoes, onions, and cilantro in each, Chichen Itza had some of the highest quality meats and veggies we have tried at a true “street taco” establishment. This meat came from a local grocery store, not the back of a truck or the “sale” section of the Carniceria.
The pastor was the hands down favorite, a dark orange-red in color and with the tangy ting of the chili and cayenne con limon. The chicken was well cooked and flavored lightly with lemon pepper and salt. In fact, the chicken tasted more similar to a Mediterranean gyro or a chicken wrap than a traditional taco. Add feta cheese or yogurt sauce and I would have been in heaven.
The steak and Milanese were both solid tacos. The steak was nice and juicy but could have used some more flavoring and the Milanese, while tasty, was a tad dry. Neither were something you would put down or re-order and again the quality of the meats and produce kept them more than just above average in comparison to most cheap tacos.
The value you receive at Chichen Itza is what stands out the most. For me: 4 tacos, a large mineral water, and a cookie all came in under $8. For a dinner, drink, and dessert that’s hard to beat. Throw in a bag of extra hot Takis and I couldn’t ask for more from my neighborhood taco joint. Guess I’ll only being seeing Tacos Y Mas in the morning for chorizo, egg, and cheese, cause from here on out, Chichen Itza is my go-to taco spot on Greenville Avenue.La Hacienda Chicken Itza 5710 Richmond Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 828-0197 Want to join Tacobots or have a great idea for our next Meetup? Check out our group on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org